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e Mind's Eye 

Volume 2 Number 6 



The Mind's Eye is a journal of review and comment 
published monthly during the college year 
at North Adams, Massachusetts 01247 

W. Anthony Gengarelly 
Stephen A, Green 
R. Michael Haines 
Charles A. Mclsaac 
Thomas A. Mulkeen 


Charles A, Mclsaac 

Problems of education in a democracy 
and of democracy in education 

John Williamson 

A door to the real world 

Thomas A. Mulkeen 

Avenue to peace is barricaded by 
historic recalcitrance 

David W. Kirkpatrick 10 TUITION TAX CREDITS 

They will benefit the rich, hurt the poor 


Art Sullivan 7 HERACLITEAN 


Charles A. Mclsaac 11 The Periodical Press 



Sarah H. Clarke 12 NEWSWEEK WATCH 


2 Letters 

2 The Editor's File 


12 Contributors 

The Mind ' s Eye welcomes contributions. Your research, comment, 
reflections, reviews, letters, poetry, fiction are invited. 




Sir: Seldom has the conflict between two 
sets of rights been more sharply, or 
perhaps more agonizingly, presented than 
that between the right of the Jewish 
community in Skokie, Illinois, to be free 
from a verbal and symbolic assault on its 
culture and race and that of the right of 
a hated minority to exercise free speech 
and its corollary, public demonstration, 
as guaranteed by the First Amendment. 

To make the issue more concrete in terms 
of the two articles by Drs. Schiff and 
Gengarelly ( The Mind ' s Eye , April) let us 
put the question in two ways: (1) Is it 
necessary to protect the Nazis in their 
march in Skokie in order to assure that 
Dr. Gengarelly was protected against the 
white community in Mississippi back in 
1965, or that he would be protected in 
similar circumstances in the future? (2) 
Are the affront to Jewish sensibilities, 
the attack on their personalities, and the 
potential for encouraging a wave of anti- 
Semitism so great as to outweigh one of 
the most vital foundations of a free 
society, freedom of speech? 

Dr. Gengarelly answered the first question 
in the affirmative; Dr. Schiff answered 
the second in like manner. 

In trying to reach a resolution of the 
conflict for myself I was led to a 
consideration of Justice Holmes's famous 
formula for resolving such conflicts in 
Schenck v. United States, the first great 
case involving freedom of speech. Therein 
Holmes states, "The question in every case 
is whether the. words used are used in such 
circumstances and are of such a nature as 
to create a clear and pre sent danger that 
they will bring about the substantive 
evils that Congress has a right to 
prevent. It is a question of proximity 
and degree." 

Is there a "clear and present danger" that 
the march of the Nazis in Skokie will 
touch off a wave of anti-Semitism now or 
even in the foreseeable future? 

Dr. Schiff believes there is, and she 
cites as proof that "Hitler came to power 
legally, exploiting the letter of the law 
to subvert the law." Nobody, of course, 
can be certain about the future, but in 
the light of America's ideals and values, 
which have been two hundred years in the 
making, any repetition . here of the events 
in Germany under Hitler seems incredibly 
remote. The historical context is just 
too utterly different. 

We do not have a tradition of anti- 
Semitism that goes back to the Middle 
Ages. We have not, in the recent past, 
suffered a humiliating defeat in war for 
which Jews were made the scapegoat. We 
do not have a soul-searing depression; and 
when we did, it did not result in any wave 
of anti-Semitism. Our traditions are. so 
deeply rooted relative to representative 
government that the possibility of a Nazi- 
like dictator gaining power would set at 
naught every psychological law concerning 
conditioning that I have ever read. 

Belief in fair play, equal opportunity, 
and the value and worth of each 
individual, while not observed perfectly, 
are still so much a part of the ordinary 
thought processes of the average American 
that it would take decades, if not longer, 
to reverse them. The universal condem- 
nation of the Nazis and their Skokie plan 
by every editor and columnist in the 
United States is proof of what T mean. 
In Justice Holmes's words, the "clear and 
present danger" which would warrant inter- 
dicting free speech is simply not present. 

John T. McNulty 
Associate Professor of History 

The Editor's File 


The principal victim of Frank Collin's 
Nazi party has been its legal defender, 
the American Civil Liberties Union. In 
its March newsletter the ACLU disclosed 
that it has received 4,000 letters of 
resignation and suffered additional 
thousands of silent nonrenewals, bringing 
the total loss of members to about 20%, 


a staggering blow for the organization. 
That the ACLU was willing to take such a 
risk is evidence of the firmness of its 
commitment to civil rights. 

The ACLU is making vigorous efforts to 
recoup its financial losses. An appeal 
for special contributions has been mailed 
to members. In newspapers around the 
country, letters from ACLU officials have 
been published, explaining the ACLU's side 
of the controversy. The Brattleboro 
Reformer carried a defense of the First 
Amendment position by the executive 
director of ACLU-Vermont ; the letter 
ended with words from Thomas Paine: "He 
that would make his own liberty secure 
must guard even his enemy from oppression, 
for if he violates this duty, he 
establishes a precedent that will reach 
to himself." 

An authoritative and perceptive history of 
the case by the individual most concerned, 
David M. Hamlin, Executive Director of 
ACLU-Illinois, is found in the Civil 
Liberties Review for March/April. After 
almost a year of court battles, the 
Illinois Supreme Court has ruled against 
Skokie and in favor of the Nazis. Frank 
Collin's march is now scheduled for late 
June . 


by James R. Roach 

In examining the roots of American 
history it becomes evident quite quickly 
that the ideal of liberal education was a 
powerful concern of some of the most 
influential of the American revolutionary 
figures. John Adams revealed his Puritan 
conviction that nothing could preserve 
future generations from tyranny more 
surely than "knowledge diffused generally 
through the whole body of the people." 
It was this great concern that led very 
early to the establishment of grammar 
schools and colleges. In his "Thoughts 
on Government" written in 1776, Adams 
included the provision, "Laws for the 
liberal education of youth . . . are so 

extremely wise and useful that . . .no 
expense for this purpose would be thought 
extravagant." Such sentiments were 
shared by other notables of the time, 
Madison and Jefferson foremost among them. 
For these men education was the key to 
democracy, and Jefferson, the very 
personification of liberal learning, 
sought to establish its place in the 
budding postrevolutionary democracy 
through his "Bill for the More General 
Diffusion of Knowledge," in which he 
stated his belief in the central 
importance of liberal education in a free 
society . 

The relationship between education and 
democracy has not always been one of 
sweetness and light, and the voices of 
critics have often been raised when this 
relationship seemed to threaten the 
integrity of the educational process or 
pervert the true ends of education. 

The latest critic raising a concern about 
education and democracy is John R. Silber, 
President of Boston University and an 
untiring advocate of excellence in 
education. In an article published in 
Harper's last June, Silber laments the 
lowering of standards in education which, 
he believes, traduces education, defrauds 
students, and disregards the needs of 
society. Setting forth his conviction 
that "the only standard of performance 
that can sustain a free society is 
excellence," he attacks the notion that 
excellence is or can be at odds with a 
democratic society, but protests that 
spurious democratic influences are at work 
in education. He catalogues the signs in 
education that point to a flight from 
excellence: grade inflation, which 
assumes that all students are equally 
hard-working or equally qualified; the war 
against grading itself, as if there were 
no need to discriminate between excellent 
work and that which is merely adequate. 
He sees these practices and others such as 
plagiarism, the selling of term papers, 
and the acceptance of inauthentic or 
shoddy work as further signs of 
education's sellout to mediocrity. At the 
heart of it all, says Silber, is an 
adulterated understanding of democracy. 


It is appropriate, I think, that John 
Silber took his message first to the 
Municipal Authorities of Boston gathered 
in Fanueil Hall on the Fourth of July, 
1976. What better setting for a critique 
of democracy and education! In thi.s seat 
of learning as well as liberty, Silber 
called for the recognition of elitism in 
education, a need to foster the best and 
the brightest. Recognizing that America 
exists as a democracy by the consent of 
the governed, he nonetheless claims that 
political democracy is ill-served if 
people believe that every institution in 
a democracy ought to be organized 
democratically. To the contrary, he 
maintains that most institutions should 
function on an elitist basis; that is, 
that "decisions within them ought to be 
made by those most qualified to make 
them." Elitism, according to Silber, 
calls upon the best or most skilled 
members of a group and is essential to the 
quality of institutional life. It, too, 
can have its counterfeit forms, however, 
and this happens when an elite is created 
whose qualifications are "nonexistent or 
irrelevant . " 

Silber states that everyone knows the 
difference between a gifted surgeon and a 
"butcher," and all agree that the practice 
of surgery should be restricted to those 
who possess the necessary knowledge and 
skill. No patient is likely to give 
consent to be operated upon by a doctor 
who decides to poll those, in the operating 
room to determine the best method of 
proceeding . 

Here one can recognize in Silber the 
former professor of philosophy and can 
easily imagine the ghost of Aristotle 
standing by his elbow, reading to him from 
his Politics: "Democracy . . . arises out 
of the notion that those who are equal in 
any respect are equal in all respects; 
because men are equally free, they claim 
to be absolutely equal." And one can 
understand why Silber believes that the 
flight from excellence is profoundly 
philosophical, arising out of an erroneous 
understanding of the relationship of 
academic excellence to equality of 

In appealing to Jefferson and Adams, one 
has to recognize that they believed in a 
natural aristocracy that would be identi- 
fied and elicited through education. It 
was an aristocracy based on virtue, 
intelligence, and natural talents, not on 
wealth and place in society. Education, 
rightly established and maintained, would 
allow the talents and gifts of every 
citizen to emerge. This demands academic 
discrimination and recognition of 
achievement. There should be equality of 
educational opportunity so that the best 
may emerge and lead. To refuse to 
distinguish the excellent from the average 
is to conterfeit democracy and to under- 
mine it. Silber says it pointedly: "As 
long as intelligence is better than 
stupidity and knowledge than ignorance, no 
university can be run except on an elitist 
basis"; and as long as educators assume- 
that there is no need to maintain a strong 
division among excellence, competence, 
inadequacy, and failure, then eventually 
they will lose their ability to identify 
that which is excellent and forsake, as 
well, their concern for it. A factitious 
attempt to democratize education will 
defeat its purposes and render it worse 
than useless. If colleges lower their 
expectations of students, they sap their 
educational potential and undermine their 
academic achievement, since the 
intellectual development of students 
depends in great measure on the goals that 
the institution sets for them. 

"How to Kill a College," a recent article 
in Saturday Review by Theodore L. Gross, 
Dean of Humanities at CCNY, is a tragic 
recounting of the pitfalls of a misguided 
concept of democracy which led to lowered 
academic expectations. It is a case study 
of a tragic flaw in higher education 
today. At CCNY the implications of open 
admissions — deficiencies in basic 
competencies, lowered expectations, and 
the demands of special interest groups-- 
were sadly realized and the desire to 
learn was slowly strangled. The once 
proud City College of New York, an out- 
standing college with a long tradition of 
free education for qualified disadvantaged 
citizens became, in the words of Dean 
Gross, "a kind of cheap academic stock 
market" in which "teachers were stock- 


brokers in an inflationary educational 
economy . " 

The warnings of President Silber and the 
experience of CCNY can be salutary for 
North Adams State College. Santayana 
observes in The Life of Reason that "those 
who cannot remember the past are condemned 
to repeat it." This admonition reminds us 
that a major responsibility of public 
higher education is to ensure that 
Jefferson's "natural aristocracy" develop 
through a sound and challenging education. 
The reform of the curriculum last year is 
intended to strengthen basic skills and 
competencies. The change in general 
education requirements looks toward a 
balanced and ordered learning experience 
which provides a solid basis for major 
programs. It is our intention to raise 
standards and expectations, not to lower 
them. We must continue to demand that our 
students meet and explore the collective 
wisdom of mankind in order to provide 
education in breadth as well as in depth, 
education that embraces comprehension and 
discernment as well as information and 
skills. It is this process that will 
integrate education and democracy and 
provide an impetus to lifelong learning 
and enrichment. As educators with a 
public charge we should do no less. 

by John Williamson 

Editor's note: The author spent the 1978 
spring semester as a political science 
intern in North Adams City Hall. 

Many students who contemplate doing an 
internship hold grandiose expectations 
that it may be their opportunity to "put 
it all together": the hours of studying, 
the countless term papers, the numbing 
experience of eight o'clock classes, and 
of course that twilight zone period at the 
end of each semester, final exam week. 
Having survived the grueling endurance 
contest of the educational marathon, the 
student can presumably apply these 

experiences to a real job in an 
environment not directly related to the 
classroom. Unfortunately, too many 
interns discover too late that their 
levels of crucial decision-making reach 
their pinnacles when they are faced with 
the momentous decision of whether the boss 
would like mustard or mayo on his 
sandwich. The glorious intern becomes the 
gofer, the office lackey, the captain of 
the copy machine. 

Fortunately for me, this has not been the 
case. Don't get me wrong; I haven't taken 
over City Hall, but I have been graciously 
taken into it. Maybe the satisfaction of 
this experience can be attributed to a 
combination of conditions: good timing; 
a new mayor; a sense of progress in this 
city, after years of good intentions that 
yielded few results; and the confidence 
and consideration of those with whom I 

I realize that working In the office of a 
small-town mayor doesn't carry the initial 
glamor and prestige of internships such as 
those In the State House, the U.S. House 
of Representatives, or the U.S. Senate; 
but the bottom line of any internship is 
not where you are, but what you do, what 
you are directly exposed to, and of course 
what you learn. T certainly have been 

Working with the mayor's HUD Funding 
Advisory Panel, a group of citizens who 
oversee the expenditure of various federal 
grant monies, I have been immersed in 
grantsmanship , urban planning — both 
industrial and economic — and housing 
rehabilitation. I found myself confronted 
with the jargon of public administration, 
which at first confused me even more than 
trying to find meaning in the work of 
Jackson Pollock. Terms such as CDBG 
(Community Development Block Grant) , SWAG 
(Statistical Wild Ass Guess), CBD {Central 
Business District), and UDAG (Urban 
Development Action Grant) have now become 
daily shop talk. 

My duties are endless, which is a must for 
a naturally hyperactive person like 
myself, keeping me constantly challenged, 
satisfied, and sane. During a typical 


day I have a series of briefings with the 
mayor in which he runs developments by me, 
asks for and respects ray opinions, I may 
attend meetings for him, since he is 
extremely busy and hasn't yet acquired the 
ability to be in more than one place at 
one time, although heaven knows he has 
come very close. Sometimes I answer 
letters for him, investigate situations, 
conduct general research, and scan the 
Federal Register so that the office can 
keep up to date on developments on the 
federal level which could possibly affect 
the city. On occasion it is necessary to 
draft revisions of city ordinances. I 
then follow their fate closely as they 
proceed through the channels of city 
government, from the city solicitor to 
conferences with those directly affected 
by the impact of the new ordinances, and 
eventually to the city council. 

1 am constantly meeting new people, from 
high-ranking officials to everyday 
citizens like me. It is interesting to 
see the cast of characters who come to the 
mayor's office with problems to be solved, 
some of them as common as barking dog 
complaints, but others as unique and tough 
as the unexpected difficulties which 
plague the new refuse shredder at the 

My decision to undertake this internship 
is the wisest move I have made in my 
educational career, save of course my 
decision to be a history major. Suffering 
with my peers from senioritis, torn 
between wanting to graduate and not 
wanting to give up the security blanket of 
college life, I found this internship to 
be the perfect vehicle for soothing the 
agony of withdrawal from formal education. 

If there is, as rumor has it, a real world 
out there, this Internship has helped me 
to understand better how to face it with 
practical experience and optimism. Mayor 
Lamb's understanding, guidance, and 
confidence have been a real inspiration to 
me. He reinforces my belief that nice 
guys can make it. 

In fact, if I had it to do all over again, 
I might have voted differently. 

by Thomas A. Mulkeen 

This is the second and 
concluding part of a series 

The widening gap between the two parts of 
Ireland has in large measure been due to 
the momentum of cultural change in the 
Republic since 1921. The successful 
nationalist leaders sought to establish an 
Irish-speaking Catholic Republic. To 
reshape the destiny of that part of the 
island under their control, they 
glamorized the revolution against England. 
A generation of Irish citizens grew up 
amid the myths of the 1916 Rising and the 
"unfinished task" of 1921. 

The obsessive concentration on partition 
as the almost exclusive object of Irish 
foreign policy helped aggravate the 
differences between the two parts of the 
island. While the initial partition 
derived from long-established cultural 
and religious differences, the Irish 
nationalist movement created a new Ireland 
much more alien to Northern Protestants 
than the Ireland that existed before 
partition. What to a majority of the 
Irish people has become sacred is , to 
Northern Protestants, an alien and hateful 

At the outbreak of the Ulster violence in 
1969, the Republic's Taoiseach , Jack 
Lynch, asked Britain to request a U.N. 
peacekeeping force for Northern Ireland. 
Speaking to the people of the Republic, he 
commented that Ulster's civil police were 
"no longer acceptable and British soldiers 
were unacceptable in the long run." 
Expressing his party's republicanism he 
suggested that only reunification would 
produce a lasting settlement and announced 
that an Irish army hospital unit was being 
sent to the border to aid refugees from 
the conflict. In a speech at Tralee on 
September 12, 1969, Lynch said, "We are 
not seeking to overthrow by violence the 
Stormonc Parliament, but rather to win the 
agreement of a sufficient number of people 
in the North to an acceptable form of 
reunif icat ion. " 


HERACLITEAN by Art Sullivan 

Gulled and hectored on — noise and neon drove 
Me down, searching hard to find a better ration — 
And now, upon the favored shore that lines this cove, 
1 sit, a city-man, slowed to veneration. 

A sacred presence hovers over shale and shell, 

As evening's stillness murmurs on the running tide; 

The sun's descent leaves lavender to dwell 

Awhile, where once again the night will soon abide. 

The waves upon the shore, the wind across the sand; 
Within, the pulsing heart; without, the blood of sun — 
Communion rhythms cross and blend, bend and band — 
And then, a momentary birth of intuition 

Candles light upon our origin and fate — 

Where all is syllable striving to be heard: 

Moonlight, night-wind arid wave, here plait 

Their consonance — as T, their vowel, await our Word. 

In New York Dr. Patrick Hillary, the 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, argued the 
government's position before the Security 
Council. The British, angered by Lynch' s 
statements, retorted that Northern 
Ireland's affairs were within the domestic 
jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. The 
world body listened politely but refused 
to accept the Ulster conflict as a matter 
for its concern. Frustrated by the 
British position at the United Nations and 
by the deployment of British troops in the 
North, the Lynch government seemed to be 
saying that Ireland's claim to justice was 
again being denied by British armed might. 

Dublin's capacity to become involved in 
Ulster affairs was limited by physical and 
political constraints. Irish public 
opinion was aroused, but not to the point 
of supporting hazardous steps. Nor was 
the Irish government in any position to 
force the British to accept its viewpoint. 

In these circumstances — trammeled by the 
lack of a viable policy — Lynch never- 
theless continued to search for a role in 
Ulster. In 1972 both the British and the 
Irish governments began to reassess their 
positions. On January 22, 1972, Edward 
Heath and Jack Lynch signed their two 
countries into the European Economic 
Community, joining both England and 
Ireland to Western Europe. Released by 
unity with Europe from the strategic 
preoccupation with the North and repelled 
by the violence, the British realized that 
a fresh beginning could be made. The 
Heath government assumed direct rule in 
Ulster and began the search for a new 
format for home rule. At the beginning of 
1974 a power-sharing Executive came into 
effect under the leadership of Brian 
Faulkner . 

With Britain committed to reform in 
Northern Ireland, the policy of the Dublin 


government also changed. The Republic's 
membership in the European Economic 
Community had the potential for reducing 
its dependence on British markets and 
improving its political posture with 
London. At the same time, the burning of 
the British Embassy in Dublin and the 
escalating I.R.A. killings of noncom- 
batants in Belfast forced the Irish to 
have second thoughts about incorporating 
Ulster. Many in the South began to assume 
the position that the immediate problem 
was not how to get unity, but how to share 
the island peacefully. They also 
acknowledged that conditions precluded 
reunification as long as Ulster 
Protestants were unwilling. 

From 1972 onward, Jack Lynch and his 
successor, Liam Cosgrave, began a slow and 
sometimes halting process of assuring 
Northern Protestants that the South no 
longer meant to submerge them in a 
Catholic community. The Lynch government 
won a referendum which removed from the 
Republic's Constitution a clause which 
"recognized the special position of the 
Church as guardian of the faith professed 
by a majority of the citizens of the 
State." Later, historical revisionists in 
the coalition government endorsed the 
political and religious rights of the 
Ulster loyalists. 

In 1976 Conor Cruise O'Brien, the minister 
for Posts and Telegraphs, in a low-key 
speech wondered whether the state ought to 
deny young couples the means of 
controlling the size of their families 
and, further, whether the time had come 
for a national debate on divorce and 
Church-controlled education. In the 
discussion that followed, Dr. O'Brien's 
position was supported by Foreign Minister 
Garret FitzGerald, In challenging the 
close relationship between the Catholic 
Church and the state, government leaders 
now recognize that among Protestant 
objections to unity there are some 
legitimate concerns. 

Seeking formulas to reduce the conflict, 
leaders of both Northern communities met 
with British and Irish government 
ministers at Sunningdale in December 1973. 
In an historic break with tradition the 

newly elected Irish coalition government 
conceded that Ulster's link to the United 
Kingdom could not be broken without the 
consent of a majority of the citizens of 
the North. Britain, in turn, pledged that 
she would support the unification of 
Ireland should a majority of Northern 
citizens wish to end the division of the 
country. It was also agreed that a pan- 
Irish Council of Ireland would be 
established and that effective security 
procedures aimed at I.R.A. terrorism 
would be instituted in both parts of 
Ireland. Dublin was gratified that it was 
at last recognized as having a legitimate 
interest in the North. 

The statement on majority consent was the 
first commitment of its kind by an Irish 
government. In an interview with the 
writer, Dr. Garret FitzGerald, the foreign 
minister, commented that Sunningdale 
represented the first realistic attempt 
at unification in the sixty years' 
existence of the Irish state. In effect 
he was saying that past policy could never 
lead to reunification and that his 
government's approach was more sensible. 
The coalition government felt that formal 
acceptance of the de facto status of 
Northern Ireland was required to fulfill 
the promise of a Council of Ireland and 
to ensure the effectiveness of the power- 
sharing Executive in the North. 

It was hoped that the Council would 
facilitate a reduction in North-South 
alienation through joint attention to 
Irish administrative and economic 
problems. Dublin expected the Council to 
encourage the growth of mutual trust in 
both parts of the island, and eventually 
to usher in a united sovereign nation. 
Many Irish evolutionists expected the 
Council to build a pluralistic Irish 
nationalism, valuing equally Protestant 
settler and native Catholic traditions. 
In general, the Irish public viewed the 
agreement as an innovative and welcome 
step which brought relief and governing 
opportunities to Northern Catholics. 

The Sunningdale agreements proved to be 
quite fragile. The I.R.A. declared war 
on the December accords. Militant 
Protestants, prompted by the fear that 


power-sharing was the first step toward an 
eventual union with the Republic, were 
openly hostile. In the spring of 1974 a 
crippling two-week general strike brought 
the economy of Northern Ireland to a 
standstill. Determined to render the 
Council of Ireland proposal unworkable, 
Protestant extremists took over 
distribution of the Province's supplies. 
They ran their own welfare service and 
operated their own health and gasoline 
rationing systems. 

Impressed by the effectiveness of the 
strike, the British government displayed a 
generally passive response to the 
situation and began to encourage 
compromise. They assumed that a clear 
majority of the region's people opposed 
the Sunningdale reforms. Paced with 
total economic disruption, the government 
of Brian Faulkner (the short-lived 
Executive) resigned. The British 
government reimposed direct rule on the 
Province, suspended the power-sharing 
Executive, and postponed indefinitely the 
establishment of the proposed Council of 
Ireland. The Reverend Ian Paisley 
triumphantly proclaimed Sunningdale' s 
demise. Since 1974 official British 
policy has been to rule Northern Ireland 
directly, while waiting for local 
politicians to agree on a formula for a 
new Stormont assembly. In truth, the 
British have capitulated to militant 
Ulster unionists. 

Despite the failure of the Sunningdale 
agreements the coalition government of 
Liam Cosgrave continued to stress a 
pragmatic policy toward Britain and 
Northern Ireland. Speaking before the 
United Nations, Dr. FitzGerald stated: 
"We have expressly proclaimed our 
rejection of violence in any form. We 
have accepted the right of the majority 
within Northern Ireland to determine 
freely the character of the relationship 
of Northern Ireland with our state." 

It was not the British presence in 
Northern Ireland but I.R.A. violence that 
the Dublin government feared. The Dublin 
Courthouse bombings and the murder of the 
British Ambassador in the summer of 1976 
brought renewed fear in Dublin that the 

Ulster violence would spread to the 
Republic. During the fall of 1976 a 
series of bills was passed designed to 
curb the activities of the I.R.A. The 
Emergency Powers Bill gave the police 
power to hold suspects up to seven days. 
In economic terms the anti-I.R.A. campaign 
added three hundred and fifty million 
dollars to an already strained annual 
budget. The increase represented the cost 
of raising Ireland's peacetime army and of 
beefing up its police strength. 

Behind the coalition's policy was the 
assumption that the Irish State, because 
of its separate development without the 
six counties since 1921, had acquired Its 
own distinctive cultural identity. They 
believed that the state satisfied its 
mainly Catholic citizenry, which prefers 
what it knows to the unknown of a thirty- 
two-county nation containing a sizeable 
minority of restless Protestants. 

In the general election of 1977, Jack 
Lynch' s Fianna Fail party scored an upset 
victory over the coalition government of 
Liam Cosgrave. Economic issues were most 
responsible for Cosgrave' s defeat, but 
Lynch had taken a more nationalistic 
position on Northern Ireland. As 
Taoiseach , Lynch has not renounced the 
previous government's adherence to the 
majority consent doctrine. He has, how- 
ever, tended to work for a British 
decision to make unification possible and 
has argued that there can never be 
permanent peace in Ireland while the 
British presence remains. The present 
Irish government realizes that a deadlock 
exists in Northern Ireland because the 
British continue to guarantee the position 
of the Ulster majority. Dublin questions 
the ability and willingness of the British 
political parties to apply their minds 
seriously to any new initiative in 
Northern Ireland, 

Only Britain has the power' to settle the 
Ulster question on Irish nationalist 
terms. British policy is influenced by 
the heritage of religious and political 
expansion into Ireland, by the residues of 
strategic interest in the smaller island, 
and by past affirmations to honor the 
wishes of the community that has served 


the Crown. The current British regime 
gives no indication that it might reassess 
its historical position. 

by David W. Kirkpatrick 

Tax credit for tuition costs may be a 
Congressional inevitability unless headed 
off by an Administration counterproposal. 
Nearly one hundred tax credit bills have 
been introduced in the House or Senate 
this session, and the idea's attractive- 
ness in an election year is obvious. 

Which is not to say they are a good idea. 
They are not. 

They simply are not justified by the facts 
of cost. Tn the past decade family 
incomes have risen 10-15% more rapidly 
than college costs. Middle class families 
have more disposable income , and college 
requires a smaller proportion of that 
income than formerly. 

The average family is also smaller than it 
used to be, thus making the available 
income per child higher than it was ten 
years ago. 

Nor are tax credits related to need. A 
flat credit would go to the Rockefellers, 
Mellons, Pews — not to mention $60,000-a- 
year members of Congress — as well as to 
the family of four with a $15,000 income. 

Since only so much public money is 
available, every $500 to a 
multimillionaire is $500 that cannot go 
to someone in need. 

Since the poor also pay proportionately 
more of their incomes in direct and hidden 
taxes than the average taxpayer, a tax 
credit would be a form of Robin Hood in 
reverse, taking from those who can least 
afford it and giving it to those who least 
need it. Or, to paraphrase the Bible, we 
would give to those who have and take from 
those who have not even that which they 
have . 

Most college students already come from 
the middle and upper classes, and tuition 
costs cover only about one-third of the 
actual cost of their education. The 
hidden subsidy in college education 
benefits these classes the most by far. 
And the greater the cost of the education, 
the greater this disparity. Medical 
education, which can cost $60,000 a year, 
only a small fraction of which is paid for 
by tuition, is almost the exclusive 
province of students from middle class 
professional families. 

There is also some belief that the 
availability of tax credits would lead to 
increased college charges of at least an 
equivalent amount. This would wipe out 
the effect of the credits and leave as the 
main result the increased tax rates that 
would be necessary to make up for the 
revenue lost because of the credits. 

It has been estimated that even the Carter 
plan to make grants available to those 
with family incomes of $25,000 and to 
raise the limit for loans from $31,000 to 
$45,000 might reduce by 180,000 the 
students coming from families with incomes 
less than $16,000 who would be helped. 

What does seem to be true is an increasing 
unwillingness by parents to help their own 
sons and daughters obtain an education, as 
well as the common misconception that, 
when the government pays, it is "free." 

Is it really true that a family with a 
$20,000 income and two children cannot 
afford the average of $2,800 that it costs 
for a resident undergraduate at a public 
institution — where most go? Or even the 
$4,568 for costs at a private school? 
This is still less than the cost of a new 
car, the annual sales of which approximate 
the number of college students. 

The irony is that if middle class 
constituents have their political will in 
this matter, as seems likely, their cost 
will be higher than their benefit. They 
will get the credit for the few years 
their own youngsters are in college, but 
they will have to pay higher taxes the 
rest of their lives so that others, 
including the wealthy, can get the same 

1 1 

benefit. It is not to be expected that 
such a program, once started, will be 
brought to an end. 

The Periodical Press 


Chicken is far cheaper than beef, lamb, 
and pork, and most people eat a lot of it 
nowadays. There are also some 
environmentally-minded souls who choose 
chicken because it is less consumptive of 
food resources: it takes one pound of 
grain to make one pound of chicken meat, 
whereas the steer eats eight pounds of 
grain to make one pound of beef. If you 
have been favoring chicken for either of 
these reasons, but your stomach is easily 
turned, you are advised not to read 
Cathryn Baskin 's expert, passion-filled 
account of her brief career in the 
commercial chicken-raising business, 
"Confessions of a Chicken Farmer" ( Country 
Journa l , April) . One does not come away 
from this piece nursing downy visions of 
fluffy chicks playing about on Easter 
morn. The picture, instead, is of the 
great maw of America's hunger gobbling 
millions of chickens whose accelerated, 
drug-riddled, brutalized nurture it knows 
not of. 

Having trended into Maine and come upon 
hard times in search of a living close to 
the land, Baskin and a friend were 
attracted to the relative comfort of a 
heated farmhouse and a $100-a-week income 
by an offer to raise chickens on a large 
scale. Choking down their distaste for 
agribusiness, they signed a contract and, 
after a week of readying their 350-foot, 
three-story chicken house, happily 
received their first lot of 62,500 baby 
chicks fresh from the hatchery. 

That was the high point of the experience; 
from there on, it was downhill all the 
way. Murphy's Law operated frequently. 
The incinerator blew up, waterers flooded, 
power went out, furnace failed, water 
pumps stopped, feed deliveries were 
bungled, the alarm system malfunctioned. 
A chicken farmer can lose his flock with 
apocalyptic suddenness. Take ventilation. 

Six-week-old chickens use up all the 
oxygen in the barn in twenty minutes. Tn 
winter it can be a close thing to balance 
proper ventilation against the high 
temperature requirement (up to 90 degrees 
Fahrenheit). If something goes wrong, and 
the alarm system fails, the farmer is out 
of business in a hurry. 

In seven and a half weeks the chickens 
grow to four or five pounds and are ready 
for market. The manner of their leaving 
is Kafkaesque. Flatbed trucks, with red 
lights flashing, pull up in the middle of 
the night; lights are doused and the 
chickens herded into crates by lurid 
flashlight; by 3 A.M. the job is finished, 
leaving the chicken house empty of life 
but full of filth, both animal and human. 

Two noisome rounds later, Baskin and 
friend — their lungs filled with dust, 
their nostrils with ammonia, and backs 
aching from lugging tons of feed (about 
whose quality and purity they had deep 
doubts) — opted out, their minds blown. A 
chicken-farming friend had advised them 
that a love of chickens was a prerequisite 
for success in the business. Baskin, 
after raising 187,500 chickens in eight 
months, came to the opposite conclusion. 
You have to hate them, she says. 

The Mind ' s Eye takes special pride in 
reviewing this excellent piece of writing. 
Cathryn Baskin is now a member of the 
North Adams State College community. For 
the past year she has been a graduate 
assistant in the English Department, while 
she completes studies for a M.Ed, in 
Environmental Education. 


For the past four years, under the 
direction of Henry Rosovsky, dean of the 
faculty of arts and sciences, Harvard has 
been studying its undergraduate program 
with a view to reforming the General 
Education component. The progress of the 
effort, with the opinions of instructors 
and students, is chronicled in Saturday 
Review , April 1 ("Confusion at Harvard: 
What Makes an Educated Man?" by Susan 
Schief elbein) . 


The existing General Education program, 
devised in sparer form by President James 
Bryant Conant in 1945, has grown to a 
choice of an incredible 2,600 courses 
from which students may fulfill a require- 
ment of completing ten courses distributed 
evenly among the humanities, social 
sciences, and natural sciences. The 
result of this is an educational experi- 
ence so eclectic that graduates lack the 
basis for common discourse on the values 
of civilization. In 1974 Dean Rosovsky, 
referring to Harvard's commencement 
greeting ("Welcome to the company of 
educated men and women"), wrote: "At the 
moment, to be an educated man or woman 
doesn't mean anything. It may mean that 
you've designed your own curriculum; it 
may mean that you know all about urban 
this or rural that. But there is no 
common denominator." 

This spring, a proposed common denomin- 
ator, called "Report on the Core Curric- 
ulum," was sent to the faculty for formal 
debate. In briefest outline, it calls for 
ten courses, as follows: one in exposi- 
tory writing, one in literature, one in 
either fine arts or music, two in social 
and philosophical analysis, one in mathe- 
matics, one in science, two in history, 
and one in foreign language and culture. 
The outcome of the debate is expected to 
exert an enormous influence on American 
college education for the rest of this 
century . 

— Charles A. Mclsaac 

by Sarah H. Clarke 

The intent of this column is to highlight 
articles on a variety of subjects 
abstracted weekly from Newsweek . It is 
intended to be an aid in researching 
material too recent to be indexed in 
Reader's Guide . The complete version — on 
reserve in the library — is arranged in 
subject divisions. Since the Mind ' s Eye 
carries a column of periodical press 
reviews, it seems appropriate to include 
a section from a weekly publication. 
Your comments are welcome. 

"Israel Strikes Back." March 27, pp. 26- 
32. In a detailed analysis of the Israeli 
strike at Palestinian strongholds in 
Lebanon, Newsweek ' s cover story examines 
the dire diplomatic implications. 

"When Priests Resign." April 10. pp. 96- 
100. The conservative Vatican position on 
priests' resignations is questioned by 
many Catholic scholars who are tending 
to accept the idea of a married clergy. 

"Furor over the Neutron Bomb." April 17, 
pp. 34-45. The most serious criticism to 
date of Jimmy Carter's foreign policy 
leadership has arisen over his ambiguous 
stand on the controversial neutron bomb. 

"Living with Dying." May 1, pp. 52-61. 

A new awareness is transforming the face 
of death from a remote and frightening 
subject to an accepted fact of life. 


Sarah H. Clarke is Head of the Circulation 
Department and Librarian of the Teacher 
Resources Center in the college library. 

David W. Kirkpatrick, NASC '59, is a 
consultant to the Committee on Education, 
Pennsylvania Senate, and a contributing 
writer to Pennsylvania Illustrated . He 
conducts a weekly public affairs series on 
public TV Station WLVT in Bethlehem, Pa. 

Charles A. Mclsaac is Director of Library 
Services . 

Thomas A. Mulkeen, Professor of Education, 
did his doctoral work in Irish history. 

James R. Roach is Academic Dean of North 
Adams State College. 

Art Sullivan, Professor of Philosophy, 
has special interests in Santayana and, 
obviously, the seminal thought of Hera- 

John Williamson, a member of the class of 
1978, has lived in California, Maryland, 
and Cape Cod. Commencement, which he 
approaches with mixed feelings, will be 
followed by a trip to Europe.